NOTICE PAPER NO. 1449
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 7 NOVEMBER 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Don Wee
MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC
Question No. 3650
To ask the Minister for Health (a) whether the Ministry will consider expanding the intake of our three local medical schools; (b) what are the measures to reduce the attrition rate of doctors in the public sector; and (c) which are the top five countries that our foreign doctors are recruited from.
1. Over the last ten years (from 2010 to 2019), our medical schools increased their combined annual intakes by around 60% from around 320 to 510. In 2020 and 2021, we admitted another 40 medical students each year. These were students whose overseas medical studies were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. While our main source of doctors will continue to be our local medical schools, about 200 locals who study or practise medicine overseas returned to Singapore annually. Most of them study or work in Australia, the United Kingdom or Ireland. In addition, we supplement recruitment with qualified doctors from recognised universities from other countries, to ease the workload in specific departments and hospitals. Currently, the top five countries that our foreign doctors are recruited from are India, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom.
3. The attrition rate of doctors from the public healthcare sector into private practice is acceptable. It ranges from 3% to 5% from 2019 to 2021. We continue to make various efforts to retain our doctors within the public healthcare sector.